About Us

About Us


Our Story

At the epicenter for electric vehicle adoption, California has more electric cars on the road than any other region in the U.S, and is home to some of the greenest cities in the nation and the world. Unfortunately California has some of the least healthy air quality in the country, including the San Joaquin Valley basin, the Bay Area, and the inland empire metropolitan area in Southern California. When we factor in the “new normal” annual wildfire season, California air quality can sometimes be the worst in the world, as we saw in 2018.

One of the largest sources of GHG emissions is from the transportation sector, accounting for 30% from commercial trucks and automobiles – and in the San Francisco Bay Area, almost 40% of greenhouse gas emissions come from cars and trucks.

The good news is California’s commitment to strong environmental standards. In 2016, California released the ZEV Emission Vehicle Plan and expanded it in 2018, with a target to put 5 million electric cars on California roads by 2030. In order for the State of California to reduce transportation greenhouse gas emissions by 20% from 1990 levels, it needs to promote electric transportation and cutting edge programs and technologies. With EVs sales in CA at a little over 550,000, California has a long way to go to reach its ZEV goals. This is where Charge Across Town comes in – we have helped move the dial towards a 25% adoption rate at our statewide events.


Our Work

Over the past seven years, Charge Across Town (CAT) has been working across the state directly with consumers, community organizers, local government and the automotive industry to get people excited about driving and purchasing electric vehicles, and educating them about charging. Our approach has been to produce fun, user-friendly events, in a non-sales environment, for people to ask questions, talk to EV owners, learn about incentives, and of course take the cars out for a test-drive. Since 2012, we have conducted over 10,000 test-drives of all types of electric cars, surveyed over 20,000 consumers on EV attitudes and buying trends, worked with every major automotive company and local dealerships, and partnered with energy and infrastructure players to demonstrate charging solutions. Our data shows that when people can get behind the wheel of an electric car, and take it out for a spin, they are more likely to purchase an EV. As a matter of fact, over the past seven years, Charge Across Town has seen a 25% adoption rate of new and used EVs due to its educational test-drive events.

Some of the seminal work Charge Across Town has done include our annual EV Week(s), Driving on Sunshine, MTC’s Experience Electric #thebetterride, Veloz’ Best.Drive.EVer!, SMUD’s Drive Electric, The Governor’s Global Climate Action Summit Zero Emission Vehicle Showcase, and the Electrify America ZEV Awareness and Education Program for Disadvantaged and Low-Income Communities, where CAT is working with ValleyCAN Tune In and Tune Up and GRID Alternatives, on their ride and drive events across the state.


Our Team

Maureen Blanc

Founder

Maureen brings business and marketing acumen, and non-profit expertise to Charge Across Town, leading the charge in EV adoption.

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Maureen is a successful high-tech businesswoman and environmental entrepreneur. She spent 25 years in the private sector as a leader in high tech marketing and communications. Most recently, Maureen was director of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) Northern California from 2007-2010.

Maureen built one of the largest high tech PR firms, Blanc and Otus Public Relations, and sold the firm in 2000 to WPP, a world leader in marketing communications services. Blanc and Otus launched over 200 companies into emerging markets from enterprise computing, salesforce automation software, mobility, web-based broadcasting to Web 2.0, and clean technology companies. Maureen has spent the past 10 years in the non-profit sector working on domestic and international issues, and is an advisor and board member to world affairs, philanthropic, educational, and environmental organizations.

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Meg Ruxton

Partnerships Manager

Meg has established valuable alliances and partnerships with the EV sector and brings her strategic thinking to Charge Across Town.

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She is the principal of MNR Consultants, applies more than 20 years of experience in law, public affairs, city government, and sustainability to help clients develop strategic business opportunities, create contractual relationships and promote products and services.
Her focus is on sustainable transportation. She provides her clients with thorough research while developing creative business proposals. Meg is particularly passionate about initiatives which encourage electric vehicle adoption and establish the infrastructure to support clean cars and fleets in the Bay Area and throughout California. An active member of the State Bar of California since 1986, Meg practiced at San Francisco law firms for a decade and has served for three terms as a Commissioner for the Assessment Appeals Board.

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Karen Weber

Data Analyst

Karen oversees all data collection and reporting metrics to track and measure Charge Across Town’s impact on EV adoption across California.

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Karen worked in the securities and management consulting industries before completing a Master of Nonprofit Administration degree at the University of San Francisco. Karen has been involved with many facets of nonprofit organizations including strategic planning, marketing, program evaluation, operational analyses, and fundraising. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of two local nonprofit organizations.

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Jenny Matchell

Northern California Event Manager

Jenny manages Charge Across Town’s EV educational and outreach events in Northern California.

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Jenny has over 15 years experience in the event management industry. As a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a degree Environmental Sciences she works mainly with nonprofit organizations, focusing her time on public health and sustainable event management. Through the years she has worked in all aspects of the industry including special events, youth programs, bike rides, and running events. She believes in the collaborative approach to event management and works closely with community partners, organizations, volunteers, and vendors to produce exemplary events.

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Bill Bright

EV Consumer Marketing and Ride and Drive Team Leader

Bill coordinates and executes our electric vehicle test drive efforts with partners, dealers, and educational organizations across the state.

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Bill is a seasoned event marketing project manager, with extensive consumer event marketing experience in the areas of EVs and alternative fuel vehicles. As a founding and principle member of the AAA Greenlight Initiative from 2005-2012, Bill designed and delivered a wide range of public and internal educational event campaigns including sales personnel training on the Greenlight Initiative. Since 2012 Bill has been a valuable member of the CAT team as a leader in managing EV test drive event components of CAT-led campaigns.

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Board Members

Maureen Blanc

Board President

Meg Ruxton

Board Member

Karen Weber

Board Treasurer

Francesca Wahl

Board Member, Business Development and Policy, Tesla

As part of the business development and policy team at Tesla, Francesca focuses on managing regulatory policy engagement on transportation electrification in California and electric vehicle charging infrastructure issues with key agencies, utilities, and cities across the country.

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Previously, she was the Senior Associate for Energy and Environmental Policy at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a public policy trade association representing more than 390 companies in Silicon Valley. Francesca has also worked on federal energy efficiency policy at the Alliance to Save Energy in DC, analyzed state recycling regulation and legislation, assisted governments and small businesses with implementing sustainability principles in their management plans, and served in the White House Liaison Office at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Francesca has a B.A. in Economics and Foreign Affairs with Distinction from the University of Virginia.

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John Kalb

Board Secretary

John Kalb has more than 30 years of managerial, operational, and technical experience developing business opportunities from emerging trends.

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EV Charging Pros helps commercial property owners, workplaces, and multifamily HOAs across the country develop EV-specific business models and organizational plans; perform equipment vendor assessment; and manage site selection, RFP’s, bids, awards, and installations.

Before launching EV Charging Pros, John served as VP of EV Market Development for Evolvelectric, a company focused on electrical innovation with an emphasis on putting customers on the path to sustainability. Evolvelectric has installed more than 200 EV charging station in Northern California.

John has also guided and directed “voice of the customer” research and served on executive advisory boards for some of the largest brands in the data storage industry. Earlier in his career, he worked as an investment banker, leading rounds of mezzanine and public financing. In the 1980s, as a pioneer in multimedia CD-ROM publishing, he launched several groundbreaking interactive projects while establishing consumer publishing operations for the earliest mass-selling multimedia software.

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Shawn Dillon

Board Member, Marketing Specialist, Lyft Bikes and Scooters

Shawn is passionate about biking, urban mobility, equitable access to transportation, street design, and getting people to their destination safely with zero emissions.



Our Advisory Council

Peter Boyer

Artist and Trustee, RMI

Peter is an avid EV enthusiast and environmental philanthropy leader.

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He currently serves on the board of trustees at Rocky Mountain Institute, The Pacific Institute, and is a member of the National Advisory Board of The Union of Concerned Scientists. He is a trustee of Caldera Foundation, a family foundation that advances solutions to big global challenges, with a focus on issues related to climate disruption and making wise use of natural capital. Peter’s other work on environmental issues includes volunteer speaking engagements before civic groups and schools. He lives in San Francisco where he has worked as an artist for twenty-five years, exhibiting his work nationally and internationally.

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Mark Ferron

Board of Governors, California ISO, and Commissioner CPUC

Mark Ferron’s unique expertise has made him an authority when it comes to the intersection of energy, environment, finance and philanthropy.

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Mark was previously on the Board of Governors of the California Independent System Operator, which manages the high-voltage electricity system in California and parts of the west. He is also on the Board of Trustees of the Rocky Mountain Institute and is active with a number of environmental and other mission-driven organizations. 

From 2011 to 2014, Mark was a Commissioner on the California Public Utilities Commission, focused on renewable energy, energy efficiency and resource adequacy. Before moving to California in 2009, he spent 25 years in global finance, banking and operations, including serving as chief operating officer for the Global Markets Division of Deutsche Bank in London.

Mark holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in economics from Stanford University.

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Tom Knox

Executive Director, Valley CAN

Valley Clean Air Now (Valley CAN) is a qualified 501(c)(3) public charity committed to quantifiably improving air quality in California’s San Joaquin Valley, one of the most polluted regions in the United States.

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ValleyCAN reduces air emissions in the San Joaquin Valley by creating new opportunities for affordable emissions reductions through strategic partnerships. They promote voluntary reductions in transportation emissions through conducting local Tune In & Tune Up events across the region to repair high-emitting vehicles, and by bringing electric vehicle ride and drives to these events.

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Felix Kramer

Founder, ClimateChargesEverything.org and CALcars.org

Felix Kramer is a writer and an ex-entrepreneur who’s been able to volunteer on cleantech and climate change awareness and solutions for a long time.

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He led the successful crowd-created campaign by the California Cars Initiative to get automakers to mass produce plug-in hybrids, declaring victory when the Chevy Volt arrived.

He’s a strategic advisor to the Healthy Climate Alliance and the Foundation for Climate Restoration. He edits ClimateChangesEverything.org to bring you resources and connections to help you get your hopes up about our future. And stories about how people are making reversing global warming and restoring our climate their ambitious goals.

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Simon Mui

Senior Scientist, Climate and Clean Energy Program, NRDC

Simon Mui researches and advocates for cleaner vehicles and fuels in order to reduce the impacts of transportation systems on the environment.

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Prior to joining NRDC, Mui worked in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, where he coauthored studies on plug-in electric vehicles and climate-mitigation strategies. He has also served as a fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and worked as an engineer developing lithium-ion batteries for a startup company. He holds two bachelor’s degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s in technology and policy, and a PhD in materials engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Lawrie Mott 

Board Chair, Cool the Earth

Lawrie Mott is currently an independent consultant specializing in environmental health.

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From 1982 to 2000, she was a senior scientist with the San Francisco office of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Lawrie has served on a wide variety of environmental and educational nonprofit boards including Resource Media – a media strategy organization focused on environmental issues, Marin Academy – an independent high school, and Envision School – a charter school management organization. She received her BA from University of California Santa Cruz and her MS from Yale.

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Lisa Ghotbi 

Director of Pharmacy, San Francisco Health Plan, previous CAT Board Members

Lisa has been a healthcare and employee benefits executive for over 20 years, most recently as the COO for the Health Service System, a board governed multi-employer trust responsible for benefit administration for 110,000 employee and retiree families.

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She worked for several large health insurance companies overseeing operations, analytics, contracts and customer service teams. She started her career as a hospital pharmacist and is highly organized with a strong record of change management, customer service, and complex strategic restructuring projects delivering compliant operational efficiencies and improved financial management. Lisa and her family are committed to alternative energy with solar panels, electric chargers and electric vehicles in use since 2012.

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Gordon Scott Bauer

PhD Candidate, Education and Resources, UC Berkeley

Gordon is a PhD student in the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley, and a recipient of the NSF graduate research fellowship.

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He is interested in the intersection between sustainable transportation and human behavior, and is exploring ways to catalyze the shift to a shared and electrified mobility system. A video describing his research on self-driving electric taxis in New York City can be viewed here. Gordon received a BA with Highest Honors in chemistry from Williams College, and before coming to Berkeley he conducted research on electric vehicle usage at the University of Oslo, Norway.

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Pamela Wellner 

Communications Director, Clean Energy, Clean Air at ClimateWorks Foundation

Pamela has been working passionately for a sustainable planet for over 20 years. She is currently the director of program marketing and communications at ClimateWorks Foundation.

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She has directed communications campaigns for nonprofits, government and businesses focused on increasing energy efficiency, clean energy and electric vehicle adoption on behalf of California agencies such as the Air Resources Board, Energy Commission and Public Utilities Commission. She was senior manager for Energy Upgrade California, which won the 2017 Energy Star Excellence in Promotion Award, managed marketing for the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, developed its brand strategy, as well as that of the California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project. Pamela also managed the 2016 CoolCalifornia City Challenge, a 22-city competition that engaged over 3,000 households to reduce their carbon footprint.

While at the California Public Utilities Commission, she focused on utility customer energy efficiency marketing and behavior change, helped create the Behavior Energy and Climate Change Conference and has frequently presented on behavior change approaches.

Before getting ensconced in California energy issues, Pamela directed cutting edge campaigns to protect old growth forests and human rights from unsustainable timber practices for products ranging from musical instruments to tissue paper and helped establish the Forest Stewardship Council.

She has a master’s in public administration from New York University and bachelor’s in human ecology from the small, but mighty, College of the Atlantic.

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Mark Tang 

Bay Area Air Quality Management District

Mark brings over 15 years of Air Quality industry experience working in engineering, compliance and transportation planning.

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Mark currently leads light-duty infrastructure and vehicle programs at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District providing incentives to increase EV adoption in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

In additional to his work at the Air District, Mark serves on the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Citizen’s Advisory Committee and the Balboa Reservoir Community Advisory Committee advocating for clean energy generation, equity and affordable housing.

Mark holds a BA in Environmental Studies from California State University, Sacramento and a MLA in Extension Studies with a focus in Environmental Management & Sustainability from Harvard University.

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Get Involved!

Charge Across Town engages with community-based organizations, educational organizations, student interns, EV owners and volunteers to help bring our electric vehicle educational events to communities across California.

If your organization is interested in partnering with us, or if you’re interested in volunteering for one of our upcoming events, please contact us.

Our work is financed by local and state grants and programs, corporate sponsorships, and donations from individuals and philanthropic organizations.

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